Office of Global Engagement
International Students and Scholars

Pre-Arrival Information

Before You Leave Your Home Country

Travel Arrangements

It is important that you have all of your travel arrangements finalized before leaving.

  •  Make sure you know your flight itinerary, and have transportation arranged to and from the airport.
  • Be sure to carry all important phone numbers and contact information for your contacts in Providence (and in other U.S. cities).
  • Keep this information separate from your travel documents (I-20, DS-2019, I-797 approval notice etc.) and passport.
  • Your passport and travel documents need to be readily accessible for immigration officials.

For F-1 and J-1 international students/scholars it is often helpful to arrive in the U.S. earlier than your official start date as listed on your immigration document. Then you will have time to find and set up housing, if you haven't done already, and become acquainted with the Providence area. Any maps or directions you might need are easily accessible online at Google Maps.

What to Bring

Most household items can be purchased in the U.S. for reasonable prices; therefore it is best to leave these items in your home country (i.e. kitchen items, bed linens, towels, etc.) .

  • Your original travel documents (passport, DS-2019, I-797, TN Support Letter, etc.) and multiple copies (clear, easily read copies) to be kept separately in case of emergency.
  • Your driver's license or international driver's license.
  • A copy of your driving record, if you plan on purchasing an automobile in the U.S.
  • A supply of all prescription medications with a description of each written by your doctor.
  • COVID vaccination records.
  • If you have dependents who will be attending school in the U.S., be sure to bring birth certificates or proof of age and all medical, dental, and academic records for them.

Brown University is located in the northeastern area of the United States known as New England. This region is known for its changeable seasonal weather. If arriving in the winter, make sure you arrive with a warm coat and other cold weather clothing.

  • On-campus: Business casual or casual clothing is worn on campus and in Brown's labs.
  • Formal wear: Suits & dresses are important to have for formal events/receptions and for interviews.
  • Winter wear: Sweaters, warm coat, hat, scarf, and gloves are essential in New England in the winter months.
  • Footwear: Sneakers, sandals/ casual shoes, at least one pair of formal shoes, and if you will be at Brown during the winter, months a pair of warm winter boots (which can be purchased after arriving).
  • An extra pair of glasses or contact lenses.
  • Photographs and maps of your home country (and other sentimental objects from home).
  • An updated list of contacts (including information for friends & family from home & in the U.S.).
  • Your favorite music from your home-country.
  • A small first aid or emergency kit including items like thread, band aids, antibacterial ointments, non-prescription medicines.
  • Spending money since you may not be paid for your position or your first paycheck may not be issued until 2-4 weeks after your arrival.